Ideas and successful practices from principals in the Master Principal Program.
I am reading and enjoying Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques That Put Students On The Path To College by Doug Lemov. The book comes with a DVD so you can watch the specific technique put into practice.
A good read is "Learning by doing: A Handbook for professional learning communities." Dufour,R.,DuFour,R.,Eaker,R.&Many,T.(2006). Bloomington,IN:Solution Tree. This handbook has assisted my staff and I as we really begin to fully understand the difference between common planning time, commom preparation time and how to use power standards to create what is essential.
I great classroom management tool is offered free at http://www.classdojo.com/.This "real time" tools can be used on your classroom computer and/or smart phone to Improve student behavior and engagement by awarding and recording real-time feedback. You can print or email behavior reports to easily engage parents and staff. This is a real time saving system that records behaviors and most importantly accomplishments of the class with just a click or tap. The students love the different icons to choose from. This tools is very effective method of managing the classroom as students work in groups and/or managing class behavior as a teacher works with individual groups of students.
Our school continues to use the techniques through Love & Logic. We believe in these proven techniques.Our current book study is using Teaching With Love And Logic.These sessions are facilitated by teachers where everyone shares how the techniques are working for them. We also brainstorm on specific situations for ideas on how to handle them through the Love & Logic beliefs.
I am leading my faculty in a book study of "Enhancing Professional Practice" by Charlotte Danielson. We are using the study as a vehicle to perfect the teaching craft. In December I had the privilege of meeting Danielson and participating in a conversation of how to best train evaluators to use her framework to help perfect teaching in Arkansas. I am excited about how her framework can help improve teaching in our state.
Book suggestions: The Energy Bus and Soup by Jon Gordon. Both books are great resources on improving culture.
I am always looking for new tech tools that will aide in the teaching and learning of both students and adults. Middle school students are using these tools continuously outside of school, so it only makes sense to make them part of our learning culture. We recently added an iPad cart to our math and science departments and I have been researching apps that are best for the classroom. I came across a free app and am very excited about all of its possibilities in the classroom! Educreations is free and it goes beyond the basic whiteboard app. This is a recordable whiteboard that captures your voice and handwriting to create video lessons that you can share online. The online site also hosts other teachers and students finished videos creating a wonderful resource. An amazing feature of the app is that you can download pictures from your Dropbox or use your iPad camera to take a picture to include in your lesson. I can't wait to see what our students will come up with to demonstrate their learning!
You may have already heard of the site: iear.orgIt's packed with (grade level / subject specific) apps, articles, blogs, etc.
Thanks Pam! I haven't seen this before and it looks great!
I have been searching for articles that provide teachers more information on the Common Core State Standards. I wanted the article to be relevant and an easy read. This article provided great links to more information too.http://neatoday.org.2011/05/17/here-come-the-common-core-standards
I use a motivational video to begin many of my leadership team meetings. I recently used this video to remind teachers that the students we work with can go on to be innorvators in our future.http://www.teachertube.com/members/members/viewVideo.php?video_id=6252
Thank you Theresa for sharing. See you at our next Zone meeting.
As teachers have asked, "What does CCSS lessons look like in my classroom?" I have shared the following Common Core video link with teachers: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos?categories=topics_common-coreTeachers found the link to be very useful.
I always read the Educational Leadership magazine and share relevant articles with my staff. We use the articles in PLCs.
Enhancing RTI by Fisher and Frey is an excellent resource to use to help teachers understand the necessary components of an effective intervention plan.
As a book study with the principals across our district, we are reading "The Energy Bus" by Jon Gordon.This is a very inspiring book to get everyone on the same positive bus. Great source for building and maintaining collaborative relationships.
Just wanted to share the following...Download your FREE eBook here:http://simplek12.com/tlc/ipad_admin/As many districts are buying ipads, this is a valuable resource for teachers to get started.
I use the app Instapaper to save articles or ideas I run across from Twitter or online. I am able to read it later. It also allows you to create folders to save your articles in by topic. Excellent resource for our busy jobs!
Our school utilized the Executive Briefings to reflect on the components of a reflective staff. The briefings will come on a c.d. The information is transferred to a shared drive to allow all teachers access to the information. Guide questions are given to each grade level and they are completed individually as a grade level in PLC meetings. The individual grade level responses are brought to a faculty meeting, and the results are posted to identify common threads.
Article: Influences on Student Learning, by John Hattie - Feedback and Goal Setting, research that shows the effects of best practice for student learning.M. Hutton
I am using Twitter as a way to better communicate with high school students, parents, and the community about the high school and receive questions or find out concerns. For example, we have had some problems with cyper-bullying on Twitter. I was able to immediately find out that there was a problem and then "tweet" that that behavior was illegal and there would be consequences. I had parents, students, and community members who were happy that I had responded so quickly so that turned into a positive situation. Students "tweet" me questions very easily and are able to get answers pretty quickly too. I am also using it to stay current on educational topics. I don't have the time to be on the internet searching different articles so I follow another administrator who enjoys this. He tweets daily about the great things that he's found and I'm then able to go to his website and read something that catches my eye. This saves me a lot of time.
Youtube: a video by Eric Thomas "Success....How Bad do you want it?"
NorthStar for Principals (northstarforprincipals.com) is something that I look forward to each month when it arrives in my snailbox. This resource provides "sound bites" of critical and relevant information and resouces both print and electronic. NS for Principals is published by Master Teacher and each issue provides ideas for using the MT program if you are using with your faculty. Issues are only 8 pages but each issue includes a wealth of information and connections for this third year principal.
I shared the App called slide shark it is an App to allow you to download Power Point Presentations on your iPad, my Instructional Facilitator uses it regularly.M. Hutton
I am reading Mike Schmoker's book, "Focus". It has been a validation of my staff's belief that literacy is the most important thing.
I would like to share the November issue of Educational leadership magazine. It has many great articles around the topic of effective grading practices. My assistant principal who is in the Asst. Principal Institute will be conducting a series of voluntary meetings with our staff to help them collaborate around and understand some of the latest research and ideas about grading in our schools. The November edition was perfectly timed as our building continues to work with our staff to examine classroom and grading practices. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov11/vol69/num03/toc.aspx
As I was searching for interventions to address habitually truant students, I came across www.aimtruancy.com .It had some great interventions such as assigning a student truancy questionnaire, a parent statement for absences, or a career plan essay.Also, two very effective strategies mentioned were....1. Individualized mentoring through a caring, non-threatening adult2. GPS monitoring (often court appointed)--After the structured routine and accountability are developed the students become self-driven.We also utilize mastery learning since so many don't receive the credit due to attendance issues but are proficient on the content.
I have been reading several books lately including Finding Your Leadership Focus, Classroom Instruction that Works[2nd edition], Where Great Teaching Begins, and I just received WRITE Beside Them today from C.L.A.S.S. McRae Middle School teachers and I are attending C.L.A.S.S. professional development and today was focused on narrative writing. Since CLASS is geared towards 5-12 teachers, we decided as a team to begin the training last summer. Anyway, many of you may already know about WRITE Beside Them, but if you don't, I strongly suggest taking a look at it. Where Great Teaching Begins is the book that our teachers are examining and discussing. We began with a look at Chapter 9, Designing Learning Activities and Appendix A,on the revised Bloom's Taxonomy. As we continue to meet throughout the year we will use this book. From using this resource I expect the data from my principal CWTs to show improved teaching and learning. I also expect the teachers' peer classroom visits of each other to become more meaningful.
Just a reminder that the 8th Annual TICAL Conference is to be in Little Rock February 21-23. See the program and registration information at http://ticalconference.org/ar_conference_info.html.
I read "The Energy Bus" that was recommended by Sharla at our last session. This ia motivatin book and I am going to use it with my staff in August. My leadership team and I will read and discuss this book in June.Theresa
My leadership team just finished Leaders of Learning by DuFour and Marzano. The book defines what leadership looks like from the district's, principal's, and teacher's perspective in developing a PLC culture. Marzano adds critical pieces about instruction and together they paint the picture of what schools should look like. My leadership team consisted of my assistant princpals, counselors, dept chairs, and instructional facilitator. It was a great capacity builder and has served a catalyst for change.
What a great read with my administrative team: Great Assistant Principals and the (Great) Principals who Mentor Them: A Practical Guide. It's a fast read, but we take the chapters slowly. We discuss one chapter a week in a risk-free environment. The book is written by Carole Goodman and Christopher Berry, not real well-known folks in the education research world, but that is part of the beauty. It is a practical book written specifically to address the relationship of assistants with their principals, the complex role of assistants, and the loneliness of the principal's job. On the cover of the text, the authors write, "The principal/assistant principal relationship is perhaps the single most important factor which determines the quality of the leadership development of the assistant principal." I believe this to be true. And because I do, it is important that we talk about these practical issues as a team.
WHO KILLED CHANGE? by Ken Blanchard, John Britt, Judd Hoekstra, and Pat Zigarmi Culture? Commitment? Sponsorship? Change Leadership Team? Communication? Urgency? Vision? Plan? Budget? Trainer? Incentive? Performance Management? Accountability?All are suspects. A good, interesting read . . . A parody of a typical murder mystery . . . Relates to our change process.
My leadership team is currently reading "Shifting the Monkey" by Todd Whitaker...This book is great because it challenges us to think differently and to truly accept the responsibility of doing what it takes for our students to be successful. The book focuses directly on protecting your GOOD PEOPLE from LIARS,CRIERS, and SLACKERS....Great read and critical book for any leader trying to move staff in the right direction.....
There are some educational websites that we use regularly in our teams for our on-going PD topics. The websites include:http://educore.ascd.org/default.aspx (This is a site developed by ASCD from a Gates Foundation grant. It has numerous lesson plans and activites for math and literacy.)www.teachingchannel.org (This site houses a variety of video clips on teaching common core lessons.)www.thinkfinity.org/welcome (This site has a multitude of lesson plans for any subject and or grade level as well as other resources.)www.edutopia.orgwww.P21.org (21st Century Learning ideas)
The Union CAMS staff read an article called "They're Number One." This was an article published in the NEA Today Magazine. This article focused on the innovative things Finland has done to create students who are critical thinkers. The staff reflected and saw that effective instructional strategies are effective even if they are on the other side of the glove.Thelma Forte'4/22/2013
We have been focused on learning and integrating Common Core State Standards. Some websites we find useful are:literacydesigncollaborative.orgwww.engageny.orgachievethecore.org/Steal These Toolsshanahanonliteracy (has lots of blogs on CCSS, he was one of the founders of CCSS, and we use his site to investigate his views of topics such as Close Reading, he will be at the OUR Coop on June 18th). Technology resource:www.airserver.comAirServe is an AirPlay receiver for Mac/PC. It allows you to receive AirPlay feeds, similar to an Apple TV, so you can stream content or Mirror your display from your iOS devices.Educational Leadership is a resource I use often to update staff on current issues (available online or journal). Shelly PoageBerryville Middle School Principal5/5/13
The Phi Delta Kappan monthly magazine is a treasure of current information regarding service, research, and leadership. The April 2013 issue entitled The Next Generation of Teachers details 10 things to know about mentoring student teachers: 1. Don't just leave them alone.2. Turn on your commentary track.3. Work with your student teacher to find creative outlets.4. Model how to teach in a constructivist manner.5. Share topic-specific teaching knowledge.6. Model how to learn new content as a teacher.7 Plan together.8. Make time to talk.9. Connect student teachers to the larger political world of the school.10. Treat student teaching as a learning opportunity, not as a performance.
And, another new ASCD source by McTighe and Wiggins is a simple read (but does start with some theory). The book is Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding. I especially like the chapters about designing and using EQ's in various content areas (i.e. mathematics, fine arts, etc.) and the chapter response strategies.
I have just finished a very useful and informative professional text called Student-Centered Leadership by Viviane Robinson.The book focuses on the five dimensions of student centered leadership. The dimensions include establishing goals and expectations, resourcing strategically, ensuring quality teaching, leading teacher learning and development, and ensuring an orderly and safe environment. The book is easy to read and full of information that causes reflection on the day to day work of the building administrator. I would recommend it for all Phase II members to have on their desk as a guide for instructional leadership.
One of the online resources I will share at Session II is an online observation tool that my district is now using for the second year in a row. A trial and/or subscription can be requested at http://www.observe4success.com/. With a subscription you can create as many forms as you would like and you may customize the forms as well. Our principals collaborated to create a form that allows us to give feedback on any of the domain 2 or 3 components by ranking the observation as well as providing specific feedback in a text box. The observation data and feedback can be email to the teacher immediately (based on wireless capability in your building).This has been very valuable in providing teachers with specific feedback on their PGP components after informal observations and has also helped us as principals remain focused and continually revisit the TESS rubric. You are also able to graph individual teacher, content area, or grade level data, depending on the purpose of your walk throughs.
I've used several of these inexpensive, motivational resources the last few years to either set a theme for the entire school year or for simple pick me ups during those busiest times of the school year: http://www.simpletruths.com/
Recently, as part of my ASCD membership, I received a book called Causes & Cures in the Classroom: Getting to the Root of Academic and Behavior Problems by Margaret Searle. On pages 161-165, there is a checklist for being a guide when helping students. The list includes:-Identify the Causes-Collaborate to Develop the Cure-Use the Village; It Takes One-Teach Students to Self-Monitor-Model, Model, Model and Then Practice, Practice, Practice-Deliver New or Difficult Skills in Small Groups-Help All Students Practice Applying Executive Skills-Allow for Student Rehearsal and Articulation-Applaud the Effort-Don't Settle for Just a LabelAs we are trying to create a workable RtI program in our school, this simple checklist has been very helpful to keeping us focused on the process and purpose.
I know everyone has accessed the suggestions for tech tools in regards to teachers presenting their PGPs, such as livebinders.com. A few others that my teachers selected to use during their recent PGP mid year reviews include: One Note, Story Board, general Google Drive folders for each component, Dropbox, and Prezi. Others are exploring with Evernote. Although this would seem basic to some, I am proud of mine that are venturing out and away from paper/pencil/3 ring binder documentation.
One book that has been quite useful and eye opening is Our Iceberg is Melting. We did a book study and did a lot of reflecting on our staff. This allow the teams to present a presentation to the staff at a PLC. People are realizing that things are changing and we have to realize that we can't continue to do what we are accustom to doing in order to bring about change. We have to learn how to adapt.
If you haven't seen the last two ASCD Educational Leadership journals (March and April) you should check them out....the March issue is all about assessments....a couple of really good overview articles for PARCC give a great "big picture" look for staff.....and the April one about writing is so good...I couldn't choose just one to share with folks.....I ended up purchasing copies for my staff....great authors....great tips....and great discussion starters....a win-win for PD....
Recently, we have contracted with Atlas Curriculum Mapper to re-align our curriculum--http://www.rubicon.com/AtlasCurriculumMapping.php. This online mapping system not only allows you to design your mapping template and collaboratively develop unit plans, but also allows you to analyze gaps across grade levels and content areas. The company provides ongoing professional development support throughout the year. As of now, my curriculum team is being trained as trainers. They have been very positive about how easy the system is to use.
I found this article about the leadership skills of Nelson Mandela. Even though it is geared toward the business world, it applies to the collaborative nature of schools and PLCs. One comment that resonated with me was that leadership is not about position but about relationship. It is a short article and could be used during a faculty meeting or during PLC time. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-12-12/the-leadership-lessons-of-nelson-mandela
Conscious DisciplineConscious Discipline is an incredible curriculum, based on addressing the social-emotional needs of children and adults. As administrators, we know teachers who have exceptional classroom management based on intrinsic motivators while others rely on extrinsic motivators and yet others seem to have complete chaos. In Robert Marzano’s book, The Art and Science of Teaching, he addresses both the knowledge (science) and the ability to transfer the knowledge (art). If teachers have one without the other, the impact is negative student achievement. I, as an administrator, find it is easier to help a teacher with the science/content knowledge as opposed to the art/ability to transfer knowledge to others. One of my favorite quotes is “People don’t care what you know until they know you care about them.” A foundational component of the Conscious Discipline curriculum is helping teachers change their behaviors and perceptions in order to make caring, relational connections with students, parents, and coworkers. Our staff will be doing a book study using Dr. Becky Bailey’s book Creating the School Family as we continue our journey to fulfill our mission at Tennie Russell: “To provide a safe, loving environment that respects the child and family’s individual needs; helping them to develop a positive social-emotional foundation and passion for learning.” When teachers build relationships with students and facilitate students building relationships with each other, classrooms become an environment that is safe for all students physically and emotionally. This website has many videos and resources available to learn more about this curriculum and how it can help your school and teachers develop a positive learning culture focused on the wellbeing of all. https://consciousdiscipline.com/
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